A Lack of Brightness [Veal Scallopini with Kalikori Olive Oil Greek Salad]
Winter is always a season that relies on the very best quality pantry staples. If you’re focused on buying and eating seasonally and locally, there is a good chance you’ve been eating little more than lack-luster kale, maybe some leeks or squash, garlic and onions - delicious, no doubt, but not the colourful produce we’re really craving. The odd time you let yourself buy one of those not-quite-red Mexican tomatoes, you understand why you haven’t before. They aren’t tomatoes at all. Our plates lack in colour and life the way we become accustomed to in the summer and the shift in cooking often leads us to eating plate on plate of beige-coloured pastas and deep-brown braises - which are delicious, don’t get me wrong - but much like you, I tend to feel nostalgic for the days of salads bright with citrus dressings and crunchy, just-picked produce. I miss the lightness, the brightness and freshness of summer.
This Veal Scallopini with Greek Salad makes the most of simple produce available in the colder months. Greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are plentiful around my neck of the woods and I bet if you look a little closer, you’ll notice there are some from surrounding cities in your area, too! They may not be as sweet and juicy as summer produce, but they do offer a break from that kale you’ve been chomping on for months.
The real star in this dish is the olive oil. You know I’m mad as mad can be for Kalikori Olive Oil and you know that I also have a partnership with them. Like I’ve mentioned, I believe in complete transparency and will never hock something I haven’t purchased, tasted and enjoyed on my own dime first. I get pretty animated when people come to my house and I get to share this product with them. It mimics the brightness that some heavier dishes beg for in the winter, and like a drizzle of acid, it adds another dimension of assertive flavour to any dish. It’s green, grassy flavour and slight bitterness has become something I recognize is missing when I forget to use it - I am quite simply, smitten. Wherever my salt and pepper go, my Kalikori follows. A little drizzle here and there is all you need to liven things up. In the case of this dish, the bright salad cuts through the richness of the fried veal cutlet and balances everything perfectly.
Veal Scallopini with Kalikori Greek Salad
Kalikori Olive Oil, based in Montreal QC, is made with first-pressed small, green Vatsikes olives from the Ligris Family Estate near the Kalamata region of Greece. This results in a green coloured oil that’s peppery, bold and bright.
I used mini cucumbers here because they’re less juicy and more structured which helps keep the salad less watery. If you’re using a large cucumber, I would seed it first.
2 3-4oz veal cutlets, pounded thin (1/2”) between two sheets of plastic wrap
¼ cup flour
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
Kalikori Greek Salad
1 1/2 cups greenhouse cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 mini (1/2 large) greenhouse cucumbers, sliced into half-moons (or quarters if using a large cucumber)
⅓ cup Greek feta, cut into ½” cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice (or white wine/champagne vinegar)
3 tbsp Kalikori Olive Oil
½ - 1 tsp dried oregano, depending on taste
salt and pepper to taste
Pour flour into a shallow dish (the egg in another, and the breadcrumbs/cheese/oregano and a few pinches of salt into another), a pie plate would work well, and place the meat into the flour, covering on all sides. Shake the excess flour from the cutlet, dip into the egg wash, covering on all sides, and then plunge into the breadcrumb mixture. Press meat into the breadcrumbs so they coat the meat well, flip and press into the crumbs again. Repeat with second cultlet.
Heat a heavy skillet with a good layer of vegetable oil over med-high heat until oil sizzles if you flick water on the pan. Place one cutlet at a time into the skillet, letting each side get deep golden brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with second cutlet.
While the cutlets cook, toss all salad ingredients together, taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Place a cooked cutlet on each plate, top with a few spoonfuls of salad and a drizzle of Kalikori Olive Oil.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Kalikori Olive Oil sponsored it and compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend restaurants or products I use/enjoy personally and believe will be good for my readers.